A Prickly Situation
April 7, 2012, 6:48 am
Filed under: April 2012

Pile of barbed wire headed for recycle

                                                                   April 7, 2012

      This rusty old barbed wire was gathered from an old fence line. The wire was stapled to trees and long grown into them. The trees don’t seem to mind, but future woodcutters might!

      The fence row was getting over run with briars and brambles. The pokes from the barbed wired were punctuated by the pricks from those nasty bushes. The worst of the lot was the multi-flora rose.

      The multi-flora rose was once hailed by the USDA to be the end of wire fences. This giant pricker bush would grow “horse high and hog tight” they claimed. Then it became apparent that this once hailed vegetation would become the farmer’s scourge as it spread all over the countryside. Oops.. we’re sorry, multi-flora rose is an invasive specie that is very hard to control.

      The thorns on the nasty rose bushes point backwards toward the stem. You can put your arm or hand into the plant, but pulling away causes the thorns to dig deep into your flesh. They grow by leaps and bounds. The best defense is a herd of goats as long as the plants are young and tender. The old stalks are thick and woody, covered in hard thorns and best picked up with a pitchfork, once they are cut down.

      The only thing that I find good about this plant is its spring blooms. The sweet blossoms have an almost heavenly scent. It is powerful, yet delicate. The aroma floats on the breeze and fills your nostrils with a sweet, pleasing smell. I even cut the little flowers off to enjoy the smell in the house.

      As good as the blossoms smell, they still don’t make up for the prickly situations the rest of the plant causes. It grows almost anywhere the sun shines for part of a day. It is easy to find in the dark while coon hunting…walking into it makes most any guy whine or cuss. If you run through a wood edge, surely it will tear at your clothes and skin. It is also almost always the cause of an electric fence short.

      I cut it, mow it and rip it from the ground when I see it. My farm still has plenty of it around. I get the nice smell in spring and the pain in the *ss the rest of the year 😮 Fence, you can take down, scrap it and eradicate it. Multi-flora rose you work at for a lifetime while it keeps coming back and showing up in all sorts of new places.

      The south has red cedar and kudzu vine. We have this pricker and all of us have the USDA to thank. remember, these are the folks who okayed DDT, and most recently “pink slime”, but don’t want you drinking fresh Jersey cow’s milk! … Well, go ahead and drink the milk from your own cow, they will just caution you against it… but try to sell some and it’s a crime!



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